Earlier this month, Susan and I drove down to Houston for the annual Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s 20th annual Art Car Parade. This is one largest and oldest art car events in the world. About the only place you’re likely to see bigger and stranger moving art would Burning Man. There were over 200 art cars and an estimated 200,000 people in town to see them. I shot a lot of photos but only managed to shoot a fraction of what was there. Time to upgrade from a 2GB to 4GB XD card, I think! If you want to get an idea of what went on, check out my 2007 Houston Art Car Parade photos. You can also find pics of most of the cars in the official photo gallery on the Orange Show website. A local Houston friend of mine put together a little art car video of the event.
Susan and I are still trying to find homes for our bounty of unexpected kittens. We found a home for one of them with Lacey earlier this month. I made an overnight trip down to Houston to deliver her little tortoise-shell-colored kitten in person. I’d been wanting to visit the huge IKEA store down there so this worked out well. Overall, I can’t recommend making a 4 hour car trip with a small kitten. The kitten was in a large pet carrier with a dish of water and a small cat litter tray. It spent the first hour of the trip meowing and then discovered that is was fun to roll around in water dish and then in the litter box. By the time I got to Houston, it had turned itself into a scary looking mud-covered cat. I stopped on the outskirts of Houston and cleaned it up using a bottle of water and a towel and, by the time we arrived at Lacey’s house, it was dry and looking like a proper kitten again.
The kitten took an immediate liking to Lacey. She has two other adult cats, so the kitten got its own room until it became accustomed to the new surroundings. Meanwhile, Lacey and I spent a couple of hours wandering around the vastly huge Houston IKEA building. I picked up several catalogs and bought a few things we needed for our new office space.
After that, Lacey took me to The Artery, an eccentric little Houston outpost for the arts. Stationed in a converted house, the Artery is place for local artists to hang out, learn from each other, and show off their stuff. The yard around the house has been turned into a sculpture garden. After dinner we sat around for a good part of the evening trying to think of a name for the kitten. After much debate and flipping through art books looking for interesting names, she decided on Moxie Picasso.
After a healthy breakfast of Pop-Tarts, we visited the Menil Museum, where John and Dominique de Menil’s private collection of art is exhibited. It’s an amazing assortment of things ranging from Paleolithic artifacts to 20th Century works. We spent a little time looking for an elusive historical salvage place that Lacey needed to visit but we never found it. However, along the way, she showed me one of the strangest things you’re ever likely to see in Houston.
We pulled into a parking lot in a typical, Houston warehouse district and, lined up along one side of the lot, we saw the giant busts of the US presidents. They were at least 20 feet high and there were 30 to 40 of them lined up. We were looking at the parking lot of the warehouse where artist and sculptor David Adickes does his thing. He is the creator of the huge, 67 foot statue of Sam Houston that can be seen from I-45 north of Houston. Most of the presidential sculptures looked a bit beat-up as if they were old (except for the one of Reagan which was in pristine condition and sat opposite all the other presidents). There was no obvious explanation of why they were there but I suspect they may be alternates for the ones at the Presidents Park in South Dakota. The heads are even famous enough that they’ve turned up in a Zippy strip.